Hartlepool residents are being urged to keep their bins safe in the run-up to Bonfire Night.
Borough council environmental projects officer Joanne Taylor said: “At this time of the year when nights are getting darker – and especially in the run-up to Bonfire Night – we see an increase in fires, thefts and vandalism involving bins.
“Fires involving rubbish and bins have been known to spread to adjacent properties, putting householders and their families in serious danger.
“Our message to householders would be never leave bins in the street, especially overnight, and always take them in as soon as possible.
“Residents are required to put out their bins by 7.30am on the day of collection but we would urge them to wait until the last minute. If they have to put them out the night before then they should still try to leave it as late as possible.
“Residents should mark their bins with their house numbers and ensure they are stored securely. However, they need to ensure that a bin isn’t being stored in a way that enables it to be used to gain access to a property.”